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Question for NYS Public School Parents

hudsonvalley51hudsonvalley51 Registered User Posts: 2,449 Senior Member
edited February 2011 in Parents Forum
That time has arrived for our junior D to sign up for senior year courses. As was the case with D1 four years ago we are running into scheduling issues caused by the NYS Board of Regents requirements that all graduates must take a 1/2 Economics course and a 1/2 credit Helath course in order to graduate. We originally planned for D to take Econ and Health in summer school but this option has now been deleted due to budget cuts.

I am specifically wondering if any of your districts offer the opportunity to "test out" of the Econ or Health courses. Are there any other alternatives offered in your districts to earn these mandated credits outside of the regular school day/year?
Post edited by hudsonvalley51 on

Replies to: Question for NYS Public School Parents

  • sk8rmomsk8rmom Registered User Posts: 5,746 Senior Member
    Doesn't she have to take a 1/2 year Government class too? My kids took their health class as sophomores or juniors, so we didn't run into that. Our district offers a combined version of the econ/government through the local CC so, while it was a pain, they at least earned college credits for it. If your CC has such a course online, they might be willing to accept it for high school credit...I don't think there is any way to "test out" of Regents requirements, unfortunately.
  • hudsonvalley51hudsonvalley51 Registered User Posts: 2,449 Senior Member
    sk8rmom -- You are absolutely correct about the 1/2 credit Participatory Government course requirement. I should have noted it but didn't only because that particular course isn't creating a problem for my D.

    We could probably do the CC route although she won't be able to use the college credits at any of the colleges she is applying to. It may be worth the money only to get these courses out of the way, although I view that option -- which we will have to pay for -- as another stealth unfunded mandate from our good friends in Albany.
  • LINYMOMLINYMOM Registered User Posts: 2,306 Senior Member
    My DD took the health course (1/2 year) during her lunch period first semester of junior year. The teacher was understanding about kids who had to get the class in and let them eat lunch in there (my DD's AP art history teacher was also good about it that year.)

    My DS is having an issue with the required PE class -- he will be a junior next year and because of the every other day PE class, he will have a study all the other days. He would rather have PE every day for half a year and take a half-year elective (such great electives at our HS). He doesn't think that's possible. He's meeting with the GC on Monday re: electives. Not sure she can help, but perhaps she has an idea about what he can do beside study hall on those days.

    It's too bad that being a varsity athlete doesn't help with this PE requirement. My neighbor was an All-American athlete -- she had to make up PE classes when she got back from nationals. I think it's crazy.
  • sk8rmomsk8rmom Registered User Posts: 5,746 Senior Member
    Yes, that every other day PE was annoying to all of my athlete kids too and our AD and PE teachers all agreed that kids who are doing 2 or more hours of practice daily should be exempt, but they apparently have no input into that either! If the daily for one semester doesn't work (we tried but our school wouldn't go for it), here are some ideas based on what mine did:

    Schedule PE first period and request late entry for the other days (a senior privilege here, with parent consent). Conversely, schedule for the last period and request early release if he drives to school (unless if they have to be there for practice after school).

    Schedule PE for one of the lunch periods and volunteer to tutor a younger student on the off days (this was greatly appreciated and was "rewarded" on scholarship/awards night).

    Volunteer to work in the main office, athletic office, music dept, library, etc. on the off days. If your son doesn't like study halls, it at least gets him outta there!
  • hudsonvalley51hudsonvalley51 Registered User Posts: 2,449 Senior Member
    I agree with you about the PE requirement LINYMOM. I believe that NYS is in the minority of states requiring PHys Ed all four years of high school to begin with. I don't really have a problem with that, but I do think NY should revisit the idea of granting PE credit to kids who are involved in the school's Athletics program.

    At our school about 40% of all high school students participate in either a fall/winter or winter/spring sport. 15% or so play a sport throughout the school year. These athletes are spending 15 hours or more a week in training/practice in addition to game time. They receive far more exercise than they would in a twice a week gym class, so if the point of PE is physically fit young men and women I would think participating in a varsity sport trumps PE class 10 out of 10 times.

    It also concerns me, particularly as NY's budget woes force small districts such as our to cut virtually all academic electives, that we are required to maintain a full department of certified Phys Ed teachers. All of them earn additional money by coaching. The result at many school districts is that Phys Ed teachers are the top earners on the faculty. We have one veteran elementary school Phys Ed teacher who also coached three HS sports who earned $98,000 last year! This may not faze you folks on LI but that is a lot of money for a small, rural community to absorb in order to offer gym to 4th graders.
  • sk8rmomsk8rmom Registered User Posts: 5,746 Senior Member
    ^Agreed...it's ridiculous that we're forced to cut or even eliminate art, music, etc. from our schools while retaining so many PE teachers! I was surprised to find recently that our CC also required PE every semester, at least for full-time students...idk what they do about part-timer who are matriculated.
  • michonemichone Registered User Posts: 417 Member
    I don't think you can test out of "mandated" courses in NY. My kids both took heath as Sophomores and Eco/Govt. their senior year. This was recommended by Guidance since these courses had to be completed for graduation. I don't think these courses were ever offered in summer school.
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 29,720 Senior Member
    Our NY school does have an alternative way to get out of both Government and Economics. For government you have to pass a test and do ten hours of community service at an organization that the high school approves, and you have to write a paper about your community service experience. (For my son this experience turned out to be the subject of one of his college application essays.)

    Economics had a test with no other requirements that I can remember.

    I don't believe any of these courses were offered in the summer.

    We can't get out of health, but its not usually a big issue. Students take it every other day in tandem with another every other day course - which includes gym or AP science labs or also the zero period art program.

    I'm fine with the PE requirement, but it seems illogical to me that athletes on teams have to participate.
  • hudsonvalley51hudsonvalley51 Registered User Posts: 2,449 Senior Member
    If anyone has reliable (and preferably verifiable) information on the genesis of the Health mandate I'd appreciate your sharing that information. "Conventional wisdom" in these parts is that the Health course was the DOE's response to the AIDS epidemic and rising teenage pregnancies. It seems to me that we are starting a bit late with health education if those issues were the major impetus behind the initiative.

    On the other hand, I know the curriculum is not limited to sex/AIDS education, but includes topics such as drug, alcohol and tobacco addiction, nutrition and exercise. At our area schools the course is usually taught by Phys Ed teachers. I wonder if we couldn't accomplish as much, or more, by making this stand-alone course a part of the Phys Ed curriculum across all 4-years of a student's high school career.
  • kindernykinderny Registered User Posts: 1,385 Senior Member
    Students can test out of Econ at Ichabod Crane s.d (the one that closes when they see a snowflake). Rising seniors can take a summer school class where they attend lectures for 3 weeks and then if they pass the test, they receive subject matter credit for Economics but not Social Studies units to graduate. This is allowed for seniors that are going to take a year long Western Civ class to get their 4th full year of Social Studies.
    Not sure if it is an option for your D but Accelerate U is K-12 online classes that meet NYS requirements. My D is meeting PIG/Parti(y) Gov. requirement this way.
  • geogirl1geogirl1 Registered User Posts: 851 Member
    Waving to all my fellow NYers!! We are recent transplants, so not "real" NYers, but we are running into these issues. DS12 and DD13 took health in their sophomore years. The required Gov/Econ class will be taken in senior year as that is all that is offered in our SS curriculum after AP World and APUSH. DS12 had no lunch or study hall this year or second semester last year to be able to accommodate what he wanted. Several teachers were very accomodating and allowed kids to eat in class and go get lunch when they needed.

    Students here can apply for a waiver of PE if they participate in two varsity sports over the year. DS opted out of winter track and so will only have spring track this year (and he may not do it b/c of 3APs and other EC commitments). I think it falls into the category of “everyone in NY has to meet these same requirements” so it is what it is. I do believe that health can be taken in the summer at neighboring HS if a student wants. I know many kids sign up for school in the summer, but my kids have always wanted to relax and have fun. So, no summer school for us.
  • mmczznymmczzny Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
    I don't know if it is an option at your school, but ours you could take AP Economics (full credit) and opt out of the regents Economics, PIG courses that are mandated.
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 29,720 Senior Member
    ^Our school does this weird thing where AP Econ fulfills both the Econ requirement and the gov requirement by requiring a few gov papers (especially in May/June after the AP). They do the same thing with AP Gov, they cover a little economics at the end of the year.
  • hudsonvalley51hudsonvalley51 Registered User Posts: 2,449 Senior Member
    I envy those of you who have the AP Econ option. I am one of those who doesn't believe that senior year is one that should be viewed as a breather between high school and college. I think most college faculty and admissions officer would agree with me. Unfortunately, because Parti Gov and Econ are required for ALL students, and because school administrators are under the gun to graduate students, our Econ and Parti Gov classes lack any semblance of rigor. I remember when D1 took Econ and Parti Gov her senior year she was one of only 3 students in a class of 20 who was planning on attending a 4-year college. The class was geared toward the lowest common denominator and ended up being a two semester dialog between my D and her teacher. Sure it was a GPA padder, but to me a total waste of a year-long academic block (my D would agree). Like many smaller upstate districts, however, ours has only a limited number of AP courses (USH, World History and Calculus AB) and little inclination to add anything more.
  • kindernykinderny Registered User Posts: 1,385 Senior Member
    You are one or two up on our school. I think we have 1- World History. We may also have American History but that could just be an Honors course. Love living here but the rural school districts present challenges.
This discussion has been closed.